The essay is based on a recent visit to Eugene Public Library for an event on poetry writing involving teens. The event was held on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. The library is located in the Eugene City in the State of Oregon, United States of America. The objective of the paper is to examine the cultural interaction of various individuals, particularly the teens visiting the library, as well as their English skills as a native language. As such, the focus is mainly on the poetry writing skills and how they vary among different personalities. I am a constructivist, who interacts freely with people of different origins. In the library, learners from different cultural backgrounds participated in the event and portrayed their eloquence in English poetry despite some of them being immigrants or foreign students in the United States.
The participants were mainly individuals from learning institutions in the City of Eugene who came together to improve their poetry writing skills. Further, they were also to incorporate their cultures in the art, build bridges amongst themselves, as well as use the event for interaction purposes. The participants were also supposed to showcase their cultures and how they were different from what was experienced by other foreigners as well as native citizens of the United States.
In fact, it became interesting to pay a closer attention to what they encounter in the City of Eugene. The event had provided an opportunity for congregation of different cultures within the city to present how each of them lived as well as related to their environment. For example, that included items depicting the status of women and men in different communities, and the role of parents among other things. That was necessary to help in the use of poetic skills, enhance cultural relations as well as learn and appreciate other peoples cultures.
Cultural Boundaries Experiences
The contributors to the activity portrayed various social motives both in their presentation and individual behaviors. The analysis of the poems showed the need for the participants to showcase their cultural achievements in various aspects. Each of the young people made a presentation about their cultures to encourage the other learners to aspire to learn more about them. Moreover, the event had a motive of showcasing the amalgamated American culture that had been realized as a combination of different cultures and nationalities residing in Eugene City. The event placed the American people as accommodative and the country as a place where different nationals from all over the world traveled to fulfill their dreamland. Much of the event had revolved around the new culture that existed in America that made the nation a comfortable choice for many foreigners.
The American mixed societys culture was very visible at the event, with groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and White Americans making their presentations. Each of the group had something that connected their minority cultures to a common American culture. Also, it was a show of what seemed different in certain ways adequately recognized; at the same time, they upheld Americanism in them. In this regard, the presentations made portrayed what could be expressed as a culture within a culture, which were celebrated by the different ethnicities. Besides, it also appeared to represent the notion of citizenships for the various teens who participated. The event was able to identify individuals as Indians, Africans, and Hispanics among others and still portray them as Americans.
Read also: "Poetry Writing Assignments for High School"
Besides that, it also presented their citizenship based on gender, sexual orientation, political affiliations, and religion with the prime citizenship noted as American. Again, the presentation of the poems captured the migration that resonated in the 20th century creating a multicultural America. Each of those who had come to the United States had something to celebrate and carried the American dream with them. On the other hand, the foreigners who came to study in America also showed appreciation to what the country offered them. According to them, America had given them a new hope, experience, and exposure to the diversity depending on the country of their origin. As such, their presence in the country indirectly demanded that they align their cultures to new ways of doing things they were learning. The people considered the American way of life simple to understand in comparison to other cultures, as it seemed more liberal than conservative and more welcoming.
However, it does not totally exclude the notion of emotional attachment to different cultures. People from different backgrounds will align themselves with those whom they consider closer to them. Interactions with the various participants indicated that most people hang out around with whom they believed to share something. Therefore, African Americans would more probably form the same social groups; the similar thing happened to all other races or nationalities. Despite that, it does not mean that these groups hated each other. A similar relation was found among the people depending on where they came from or their interests and hobbies. In that category, it was not likely for them to link up in terms of races, and one could find a group of individuals of different nationalities and races. Nevertheless, the teens recognized that those differences made them Americans or friends of America as some would call it.
Despite their differences, they found ways that made them believe in a common cause and reason to take care of each other. That had allowed them to identify their combined strengths regardless of the various subgroups they were aligned with. In that, the joint development of these societies as well as constructed understanding of the universe they lived in had become more visible to them. The fraternity of people living in Eugene and those who participated in the event consisted of individuals of different religions and backgrounds. They found a way to transform themselves into a unique single group of people. The individuals have also positioned themselves in oneness deriving much of their strength from it. The groups of people, in this case, have a common American goal at the same time carrying along their individual, community, and religious goals. From the responses obtained from them, it was evident that people in the United States were able to hold to their personal and community beliefs and build one nation that established them as a multicultural society that was friendly to not only itself but also foreigners.
The Maslows hierarchy of needs establishes that humans require experiencing things such as love as well as acceptance within a given society. As such, the creation of a multicultural society will have to consider that fact. In case of the American culture, acceptance has been quite simple in comparison with what happens in other countries. Having formed from a multiethnic society, America has braced itself as a home where people from all over the world feel recognized, loved, and appreciated. The citizens of the United States have grown accepting this fact and noting the contribution of each of them to the national benefit. Hence, even when foreigners arrive in the country, the entire system has been positioned to accept them and treat them as equal with no biasness. Therefore, individuals visiting the United States have strong feelings that enable them to overcome safety and psychological challenges facing new visitors.
Despite that, people show different behaviors and feelings based on how they interacted with those close to them and whether they are family members or friends. Those who feel loved stood better chances of overcoming cultural challenges in comparison to those who felt neglected. Abusive relationships were noted as possible causes for poor human interaction skills. People who suffered such challenges inclined to remain secluded and unwilling to engage fully with other teens. For instance, in situations where kids were bullied, they tended to act in defense becoming either defiant or compliant to those abuses. That could as well befall those foreigners who feel unwanted. During the event, interaction with the participants created an opportunity for social exchanges. This issue was raised as a theme at the event with groups or individuals discussing what happened in their society and what impacts that had on them.
According to them, their relationships develop based on their engagements to other members of the community. The interactions in such situations will be beneficial to both parties. It means that members as well as groups of two or more different societies will benefit from that association. This has always been considered a better way to establish connectivity particularly to matters that normally involve huge groups. It may thus recognize the reason why foreigners from one African country will team up with another in order to have a voice that defends their collective rights as Africans. Again, it is found easier to engage with other groups from a point of strength. Thus, foreign students will form a common ground to advocate for their common interests.
Nonetheless, there are still difficulties in establishing a fully unbiased society. For example, various minority groups in America think there may exist some level of discrimination against them without any just reason. The feeling runs from Asian Americans, and Hispanics to African Americans. However, despite being the majority, white Americans also have their grievances over what they view as an overemphasis on other groups thus inconveniencing them. The racial groupings hold certain beliefs which they consider as the causes of what makes others discriminate against them or what would give them a right to reciprocate. However, regardless of the outcome of these disagreements, when it comes to national matters, the groups have always found themselves on the same side, which is to propel the interest of their country.
Besides, the way they view a foreign country will normally have a little impact on their relations with the citizens of that country. Acceptance in the U.S. looks attractive as the country seeks to position itself as a global choice for many. Hence, connecting with the population in the country becomes even easier. The participants believed that the American society was already diverse; hence, inclusivity was a possible goal to achieve in comparison to what could happen elsewhere. That belief was held by both the U.S. citizens and foreigners I contacted during the event. Further, minimum levels of biasness were considered as common in all societies and thus could not be totally eliminated. Every society or individual had the responsibility to manage such imbalances by finding a common ground for their relations with their counterparts.
Although people will interact with various groups, there are still reasons that will make them disengage on certain matters. The case of the United States shows a society that was built on multiculturalism right from its formation, yet the groups feel different from each other. Most of the grievances arise from political and cultural issues and beliefs as well as privileges and economic reasons. Culture has normally appeared to be at the center where most people can learn and integrate with others. This notion is highly supported by the constructivism theory. The concept argues that the development of individuals will be certainly influenced by their interactions with others.
Despite a full integration is quite difficult, it is possible that people will find a common ground through learning, scientific analysis, as well as experience and reflections of their surroundings. Thus, a multicultural society like in the American situation could easily arise. In such cases, new members hoping to interact with the community will face minimum challenges as the culture evolves. Gaining knowledge of any given environment and culture allows people to start accommodating it, hence creating an opportunity for a good relationship. Foreigners with a proper understanding of their new locations feel more relieved to make interactions and create contacts with their hosts. That allows them to develop a feeling of being accepted hence fulfilling that need. With no feeling of love, individual successes in interactions with new people or cultures could fail.
As the number of people from different cultural background grows, the cultures of the hosts will begin a metamorphosis forming common multicultural traditions that become acceptable to all parties. Indeed, this becomes supportive of the fact that cultures are creations of boundaries, and they are deemed to change when those borders are altered. Thus, people living at the boundary may have intertwined cultures that can mutate to form a single culture that draws from both of them. Similarly, that could be the case with nations where the majority of the citizens are immigrants. When different people from different cultures and nationalities settle in the same area, they try to understand each other and hence begin learning and using the new cultures during interactions. Although the culture with a significant majority could heavily impact the others, it still has to draw some of the best practices from the other cultures to incorporate them thus developing a multicultural community.
As such, it has become evident that changes in culture will not be held back by territories. In fact, it is individual members of a given community who act as the carriers and creators of a given tradition. Therefore, whenever these people move, they carry it along to the new areas. In an encounter with other groups and different cultures, the amalgamation process will involve picking what they consider the best from each of them, thus creating a stronger community. New members who individually join an already established cultural group will be forced to adapt in order to freely interact with their new neighbors and community. Further, that also proves that culture has the ability to mutate into a more acceptable form that favors the coexisting communities.
Personal beliefs, perceptions, as well as evaluations provide attributes to other people resulting from their experiences related to a certain society. Thus, other than the overall community culture, respective individuals develop their own. The metamorphosis of these personal traits could lead to new changes for the entire community. As such, it could be concluded that at no time can culture be thought to have fully grown not to experience changes. Hence, it can be said to be an ever changing art or manifestation that remodels itself to achieve the most remarkable goals for a community. The experienced connection between individuals has personalized forms of a culture acquired through individual contacts with their counterparts who have varying sets of standards. As that happens, they are better positioned to attain several new standards. In essence, that leads to the formation of a multicultural society.
The cultural differences are not permanently held; thus, people are in a position to select the best as well as the unique for themselves. Therefore, the growth will continue in different aspects on a daily basis, with the impact becoming more visible over time. Individuals always resist to cultural changes, especially when they feel their identity is under threat. Hence, they will try to adopt measures to dominate rather than get conquered. However, the resistance cannot last for long. The attractiveness to changes comes by choosing the best but not forcibly. Thus, if the new culture looks more beneficial to them, they will begin to adopt it in time and consider it as their own. Thus, they discard what seems holding them back and accept what gives them progress. As such, the question is not the domination of one by the other but the best choice. When both of the cultures seem to have appealing traits, they can be amalgamated to create a hybrid that becomes acceptable to an individual.
The results in the analysis indicated that individuals who moved to new locations carried along their cultures from their places of origin. As such, the traits were regulated not by the locality or set boundaries but by humans who acted as carriers. Further, the culture was not only a community thing but also a personal one. Thus, people will individually choose what best suits them and hence influence the decision of the community. It means that people are multicultural even living in the same communities where they were born. Individual culture highly differs from one person to another. Thus, for them to connect and live in harmony, they develop a hybrid that favors all of their interests. As such, multiculturalism is available not only for groups of people and communities but individuals too.
Moreover, the activity established that culture experiences change and thus keep on evolving regardless of whether there are new entrants in the community or not. There are numerous interests in life that are not fixed and change depending on the goal at a certain time. Therefore, when the interests vary, the culture will also change as people try to adopt new measures to achieve the set objectives. Also, it indicates that only a main frame of a culture may remain stable for a little longer, with other aspects changing every time. Hence, it is something that can be acquired through learning and experience to develop the most attractive traits. When at the library, the interaction involved among people that allowed me to learn new things about their cultures using the constructionist theory. That gave me an opportunity to understand different traits inherent to different individuals and how they integrate them with the American culture. Moreover, it was established that cultural changes are impossible to resist, especially if they have benefits to an individual. For that reason, despite the urge to maintain the old culture and not adopt an alien one, humans are by nature compelled to choose the best one at the moment and hence would eventually accept the new changes.